25 September 2021

Leam Richardson applauds his Wigan players after win over Cheltenham

25 September 2021

Leam Richardson heaped all the praise on to his Wigan players following the 2-0 victory over Cheltenham that cemented their position at the top of Sky Bet League One.

The win was never in doubt from the moment Callum Lang opened the scoring inside eight minutes, with a cool finish after great work from Charlie Wyke and Max Power.

Lang repaid the favour to allow Wyke to add the second goal within a minute of the restart, to notch his third goal in two matches – and his first for Wigan at the DW Stadium.

And the only slight downside was that Wigan failed to take any of the other chances they created that would have given the scoreline a more accurate look.

“It’s very pleasing, and the players take full credit for the result,” said Richardson.

“We knew Cheltenham would be a tough test, they ask you all sorts of questions, and are on a high after winning promotion.

“It was important we focused on making the chances we created count, and thankfully we were able to do that.

“We won’t be getting carried away, though, because our challenge is still in front of us.”

Richardson had spoken all season about his belief that Wyke – who scored 31 goals for Sunderland last term – would find his feet in front of goal.

And he says end product is only part of what the 28-year-old brings to the side.

“We’ve spoken before about Charlie, and he – along with a number of other players in the squad – has been performing very well,” he added.

“There were never any concerns about him not scoring goals – Charlie Wyke is Charlie Wyke, he scores goals.

“But probably more than that it’s the team play that he also brings.

“Every single week, every single defender knows he’s been in a game when they’ve been playing against Charlie.”

For Cheltenham manager Michael Duff, it was a harsh lesson in what may lie ahead this term against some of the top sides in the third tier.

But having won promotion from League Two, Duff insists he would sooner put up with disappointment like this rather than plain sailing in the division below.

“I think we got beaten by a better team, which is going to happen this year,” he said.

“They showed exactly why they’re top of the league, we hardly laid a glove on them. But we conceded two very, very poor goals – and that’s the real frustration.

“The first goal, it’s not even good play from them. It’s one whack down the pitch, we’ve completely missed a header, and the lad is in on goal.

“We tweaked it at half-time with a tactical change, and then they scored a goal straight away that’s exactly the same.

“I wasn’t even in my seat when it went in, I was still walking behind the goal!

“Obviously, their goal this season is different to ours, but we need to be able to turn up and be better than we were today.

“We looked a little bit like we weren’t sure if we were good enough to be here. And ultimately, on the day, that’s how it proved. But there’s no doom and gloom about being beaten by a better team.

“With respect, I’d still rather be coming to places like Wigan than Barrow and Hartlepool. We’ve worked very hard to get here, we just need to enjoy the challenge a bit more.”

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